Solar Eclipse events planned in city

Published 10:05 am Wednesday, March 20, 2024

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Get ready for a spectacular show: A total solar eclipse will occur above the U.S. on the afternoon of April 8. Most Americans will be able to see it in some form, but the distance between your location and the path of totality will determine how much of the sun will be covered by the moon. Many places in the U.S. – Rochester, N.Y., Cleveland, and Austin, Texas, to name a few – will see a total eclipse, in which the sun is completely obscured. 

Elizabethton is expected to see a partial eclipse for two hours and 33 minutes, when 86.7 percent of the sun will be obscured by the moon at the peak.

On April 8 the moon will travel along the path of totality in North America starting in northern Mexico. The shadow of the moon will pass into Texas a little before 1:30 p.m. local time. It will then cover portions of the Midwest and East Coast and touch southeast Canada before it moves out to sea. According to NASAA, total eclipse occurs when the moon appears the same size as the sun and blocks the entire disk, leading to a period of darkness lasting several minutes. The resulting “totality,” when observers can see the outermost layer of the sun’s atmosphere, known as the corona, confuses animals – nocturnal creatures stir, and birds and insects fall silent.

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A couple of solar eclipse watches have been planned in Elizabethton. Both are open to the public.

Sycamore Shoals State Park will host Solar Eclipse in the Park on Monday, April 8, from 1 to 3 p.m., when a partial solar eclipse can be viewed.

Activities will include telescope viewing, making a pinhole solar projector, interpretive programs, and coloring sheets for all ages.

Eclipse viewing glasses will be available in the park gift shop while supplies last. It is advised that ISO certified solar viewing glasses be used to look at the sun.

Also, a solar eclipse viewing party will be held at the Elizabethton Kiwanis Park at 1:30 p.m. April 8. The event will be hosted by the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Center and the Elizabethton-Carter County Public Library. There will be plenty of self-led activities including color sheets for the younger viewers, UV bracelet making, solar snacks, food trucks, and other celestial inspired fun.

Community partners will also be on hand to offer education, activities, and giveaways.

Free solar eclipse glasses will be given while supplies last.

The solar eclipse will be an 86 percent totality and nothing like it will occur again until 2044.